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Magic Mineral to Killer DustTurner & Newall and the Asbestos Hazard$
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Geoffrey Tweedale

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243990

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243990.001.0001

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An Acceptable Level of Death

An Acceptable Level of Death

(p.274) 11 An Acceptable Level of Death
Magic Mineral to Killer Dust

Geoffrey Tweedale

Oxford University Press

The asbestos experience demonstrates starkly the political and social problems involved in any revamping of health and safety laws, compensation payments, and medical surveillance. Occupational diseases are deeply social and political. Industry inevitably influences both politicians and the formulation of industrial laws. The events surrounding the introduction of the Asbestos Regulations in 1969 should banish any naïve ideas that government and industry will logically follow the healthiest and safest option. Even if they did, decisions still have to be sold to the electorate, which traditionally abhors higher taxes, more expensive products, and lost jobs. Put simply, nothing will change until society at large agrees to forsake the technologies and social organization that have led to the present health situation with asbestos. What is needed is a completely new mentality regarding occupational health in all sectors of society, from management down to the shop floor, and a recognition that the subject is vitally important.

Keywords:   industrial laws, asbestos industry, mortality, occupational health, health and safety laws

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